The Future... is virtual reality
The biggest thing that sticks to you with Rift is the sheer level of immersion - nothing, and I really mean nothing can even come close to the immersion that Oculus VR provide with Rift. It's truly incredible and I think it's going to usher in a true next-generation of gaming and technology.
This is the most exciting piece of the puzzle: the future of Rift. I think the future of Rift is split into multiple factors. First off, the consumer version will be 1080p, which will remove most, but not all, of the screen door effect.
I'm sure that the unit itself will be made differently, which will feel better on your noggin' for hours at a time. The 1080p version will be much better for immersion within games, as you'll be able to actually read the text on the screen, instead of it being a jumble of blurred letters and numbers.
But the future... the future of Oculus is bright. John Carmack, the mastermind of Doom and Quake, has joined the company as its Chief Technology Officer. This is a gigantic step for Oculus, and paves a bright future for the company, and the future of PC gaming and virtual reality.
Where to from here, though? What would I like to see in the second and third-generation units? I think the first-generation "consumer edition" will be a great-seller, thanks to its 1080p display. But where to from there?
I think we might see a second-generation, refreshed 1080p model, which might debut close to, or simultaneously with a 4K-capable Rift. I imagine this would cost more, and would be aimed at the professional/enthusiast markets at something like $699. Even at $999, I would buy a 4K-capable Rift right now. Absolutely no hesitation would take place, I would click the order button immediately.
I think outside of gaming, the idea of virtual reality going into the mainstream is going to kill 3D TV sales as well as big-screen TVs. Sure, there'll always be a market, but for someone who can't afford $3000+ for a new 65-inch TV would surely see the benefits of picking up an Oculus Rift VR headset for $300.
Moving onto the future of virtual reality, imagine a travel agent and Google getting together for Rift Travel Edition. Where you could walk, in virtual reality, with Google Street Map data, around any major city in the world. How far is it from the hotel you booked, to the nice restaurant a few hundred feet away? Just go for a walk in virtual reality.
Imagine the possibilities for the disabled, who can't walk or move their hands or arms. They could be transported into a virtual world, travelling some of the most beautiful places our planet has to offer, all from the comfort of their chair or bed. I'm just scratching on the surface of what the future of virtual reality has in store for us, and it has me positively buzzing with anticipation to see what the next few years brings for us.
Next-gen consoles are mere weeks away, and they've already been superseded in terms of immersion, as nothing they will do will ever leave the TV without Microsoft or Sony building their own virtual reality headset, or opening up support for Oculus. Valve on the other hand, I suspect will release their Steam Box console with full Oculus Rift support, seeing their dedication and support to Oculus VR so far. The future of gaming just got a whole lot better, folks.